I have been a Wedding Celebrant now for a year, and I have been honoured to do some great weddings and some lovely funerals. Each one has been so different, unique and so enjoyable to be a part of.
Summer is coming and there are a number of peiople enquiring about weddings coming up. Obviously one question comes up is how much do I charge? I do know for a number of people this is the first question they ask, and sometimes they are surprised at the cost of not necessarily my services but a marriage celebrant’s costs in general.
To put in perspective, I will discuss with you what this might look like. I was thinking a lot about this at the gym today while I was on the rowing machine. The time on the machine seemed to go so quickly as I was deep in thought about what I do to help the future Bride and Groom
I would like to meet up with the couple before any agreement is made, just to see if there is a match up between the bride/groom and myself. This is obviously free of charge. I will usually either go to their place or meet at a cafe convenient to them.
Once there is an agreement been made, I then look to have our first meeting where I get to know the couple, find out about families who may be involved, the possible dates and venues. We do together a checklist of things that need to be discussed, e.g. full names, brides maid and best mans full names, marriage license, music being played, and more importantly how the bride and groom see the day as going.
I then go home and work on the checklist and send back to the coupe, look for any changes, and also do a first draft script. Some couples want a standard script or some want a comprehensive tailored script. It is up to the couple. Again it is my job to ensure that what is written is exactly how the couple like it, including the vows.
So if there are any changes I make sure the script and checklist have been completed. We continue to keep in touch over the months (in some cases weeks), and then we look to catch up again closer to the wedding. During this time we go over everything for the day, so we all leave feeling confident about everything.
The week before the wedding we usually have a practice where we get bride/groom/best man/bridesmaids, parents all together. We would spend at probably an hour rehearsing for this special day. Everything from the entrance of the bride, to how they will stand together, the music is worked out beforehand.
On the special day I usually arrive an hour before the wedding where I meet the photographer, and may be the wedding planner (if there is one). We then discuss how things will work, especially for photos during the wedding, best shots etc.
The Groom and his wedding party usually arrive about half an hour before the wedding. It is my job to ensure that everybody is calm (mmm), and have made sure that there are no surprises during the wedding (including the possibility of a toilet need). I make sure the weddid rings are all safe, and then we are nearly ready to go.
Once the men are all in their place and all things are ready to go, it is surprising how quickly things fall in to place because of the preparation beforehand.
Then it is that wonderful moment where the couple come together to become husband and wife. A very special time, and an honour to be part of.
Once the vows have been done and the signing of the registry has been done, I ensure that the marriage license is ready to be sent. I either go to the office, or I send, or the couple does.
Then my job has been done. Well, not really. I love to meet up with the couple after the honeymoon and have a coffee.